Round 7 of the British GT Championship took place over the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
After a combined qualifying Tom and team mate Jordan were 6th on the grid – with a 2-hour race ahead of them, they were determined to make their way up the positions.
Out first, Jordan made it up to first in the GT4 class in just 2 laps, a position he would battle hard to defend for the remainder of his stint.
The race was not without drama, a GT3 McLaren spun out and fell behind the GT4 grid and a different McLaren crashed leading to a safety car. The yellow flags soon turned green with yet another McLaren off the track.
Jordan completed his stint without incident, though with a vibration that worried the team, who thought there might have been a puncture and brought the car in for Tom’s stint.
One fast pit stop later, refuelled and with fresh tyres, Tom went back out and maintained P1.
Holding the lead for a further 30 minutes before being overtaken by the Aston Martin of Jamie Day, so falling back to P2, the race saw yet another GT3 car retire, this time in the form of Phil Keen’s Lamborghini.
With the rest of the pack catching up, Tom managed to maintain his position and avoid the incidents but started to fall back, with rake problems being the culprit.
With each car that came up behind him, Tom put in a fantastic defensive effort but could not keep up his earlier pace.
He crossed the line almost wheel to wheel with the Newbridge Aston Martin, beating them to 5th.
Holding P1 for so long was fantastic and we showed good pace throughout most of the race. Defending for so long is a difficult task and takes a lot out of a driver and the car. Unfortunately our finishing position didn’t reflect our great start, but I learned a lot about the car, myself, and the track at my first outing at Spa-Francorchamps. As a driver and a, obviously, a big motorsport fan, racing here was a big moment and I hope I get to return soon.
I think we can pull the positives out of the weekend, a really good lap in qualifying and a good pit stop is something we can be proud of. These are fundamental to racing and if we can keep up our good form on these fronts, we can hopefully get some good results in the final two races of the season.
Although the race didn’t go to plan, coming away with a P5, I think we made many improvements and I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch in September. With only 2 races left, both also of 2-hours duration, I am ready to finish my first season in British GT strongly, having learned from every race so far.
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